DU Alumni are sending a Denver lacrosse icon to Boston. JoJo the War Drummer will be in attendance for Saturday and Monday’s NCAA Lacrosse National Championships pulling for the Pioneers. JoJo has been featured in the film, Soul of Silas (as Chief Black Kettle), and is known as the spiritual mascot of the Denver Outlaws of MLL, starting in 2007.
His connection with the city’s lacrosse landscape started with former DU player Matt Brown and Trevor Tierney of the Outlaws. “Is it true?” he asked when word came out that legendary coach Bill Tierney was coming to the University of Denver. Since then, JoJo has gotten close to fans, players, and coaches. According to JoJo, Coach Tierney told him, “You’re guaranteed for at least two points”. JoJo disagrees when he says, “I think I am good for four points – scoring two and stopping two.”
As a youth growing up in LA, he played American football. But in high school, he saw lacrosse for the first time and was hooked. “Realizing my Native American heritage, my blood literally felt like it was connected to this sport – the Creator’s game.” JoJo found his inspiration and passion attending pow-wows with his parents. He saw the power of the drum – and made the connection to lacrosse. After hundreds of games, his 17-year-old drum is still by his side.
JoJo can be found attending lacrosse games all across the metro area and he has been a visible presence on DU’s campus, inspiring fans and players with the rhythm of his drum. JoJo uses various rhythms to impact the play on the field and other beats to motivate the fans. “I’ve had opposing teams tell me ‘no more’ – that I drained them while I give…the home team energy. Rhythm helps dictate pace. If the defense is down, I pick up the pace.”
“Before a game, I get my game face on. I am looking forward to the tailgate at Gillette Stadium to get parents and fans pumped up for the game. In Boston, I want to do as much as I can to get a victory.”
“To me, it’s not just a sport, it is a way of life…the seed is the drum. It gets the heartbeat of lacrosse going. Boston may be 2,000 miles from Denver but the drum will make them feel at home.”